Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thankful for Water Balloons

If you were to fill a small balloon about 3/4 of the way with water, then continue to shove it up into your abdomen, you'd feel like me today. The Gonal F is working, which is great news. However, I feel like someone has replaced my ovaries with water balloons. That's really the only way to describe them. They're large, slightly painful and causing some serious back pressure. At the same time, I'm so worried about ovulating, I'm moving at a snails pace. And when I don't move at a snails pace, I find myself getting tired very quickly. My body is continuously reminding me just how hard my ovaries are working right now.

Although the discomfort is mounting, my follicles are thankfully growing right on schedule. Left side seems to be the leader of the pack with 5 good sized follicles, and 5 small ones. The right side, the problem child that had the cyst, is lacking. I have 2 good sized ones and 4 small guys. They range in size from 13.4 to 9.7, while the small ones are all under 10. That's a total of 16 follicles. 16 potential lives growing inside me as we speak. There's a good chance that one of these lil eggs will form a little person.

It's moments like this that I need to take a giant step back from what is currently happening inside of my body. We all seem to take life for granted. We assume when we start trying, that in a month or two a person will be growing inside of us. We look past all the extraordinary steps that had to be taken to even make that miracle happen.  That your body has created a healthy, mature egg. That the sperm has climbed it's way through the hostile, acid home that is your vagina. It's found the correct ovary, located the egg, and penetrated it. That little embryo took the journey down your fallopian tubes, and amazingly implanted in the perfect place. And continued to grow. All this happens before you even know you're pregnant.

With IVF, everything is a miracle. It's a miracle if your body doesn't reject Lupron. It's a miracle that your ovaries listen to the Lupron, and stop producing estrogen. It's a miracle that the Gonal F will create so many eggs your ovaries feel like water balloons. It's a miracle that they mature, and don't ovulate on their own. It's a miracle that they can harvest your eggs surgically. It's a damn miracle that they can inject the sperm into the egg to ensure an embryo is born. It's a miracle that they can continue to grow and hatch outside of your body. It's a miracle that they can take those tiny, microscopic lives, and place them in their new home. It's a miracle if they implant and continue to grow. It's a fucking miracle to take that child home, wrapped in your arms. To be able to hold their tiny, screaming body, searching for it's first breaths of air. Something not everyone is able to experience.

Every step of IVF is a miracle. And for those of us without the luxury or our reproductive organs functioning properly, we thank God every day that we live in a world that knows how to do this for us. Whether we're religious and have our own doubts and concerns, or truly see IVF as a gift. We're thankful that our state covers all costs of IVF so that we don't go broke trying to have a child of our own. (Something the country and states should consider: covering adoption 100% for those who qualify, giving even more options to us infertile folks.)

I'm thankful that I have the most amazing love of a man who never gives up on me, or us. A man who sits by my side as we lose our first child. A man who holds me for months after, while we mourn our loss. A man who's never given up on the chance of having a child of our own. A man who fears having multiples more than anything, yet agrees to whatever I feel is right. (Make mine a double, right Hunny?) A man who backs down when he knows I'm hopped up on hormones, and don't really know what I'm saying. He hugs me, and loves me, and kisses me and tells me I'm beautiful every day. The only person who can look me in the eye, and know exactly what I'm thinking.

Today I am thankful. And hopeful.

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